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GPs go forth

GPs to be paid £1.50 for each child invited under MMR catch-up campaign

GPs will receive £1.50 for each at-risk child on their list that they identify and call in for vaccination under the MMR catch-up programme launched last week, NHS England has announced.

The service specification - agreed by the GPC and NHS Employers - was published this week and involves practices identifying all children aged 10 to16 years (born from 1997 to 2003) on their practice list who need at least one dose of MMR to fully protect them from measles, and then writing to their parents or guardians to offer them the vaccination.

In addition, practices will receive £7.64 for each dose of MMR given to any unvaccinated patients aged 16 and over who present to the GP surgery requesting vaccination.

The campaign is designed to boost MMR immunisation rates to above 95% in all 10 to 16 year olds before the new school year in September.

The letter from NHS England says: ‘Provision of vaccination to children aged 10-15 is included in the capitation payment (‘global sum’) of the GP contract, assuming the practice provides additional services, so no claim for reimbursement applies.

‘As the vaccine is centrally supplied, no claim for reimbursement of vaccines costs (personal administration fee) applies.’

Some GPs have already reported being inundated with calls from people wanting to get vaccinated, but it is anticipated that they will also have to put significant resources into the campaign to make it a success. Some practices in areas with historically low MMR uptake may need to vaccinate hundreds of patients, based on GPs’ experiences in Swansea.

In a letter accompanying the specification, NHS England director of commissioning (corporate) Ann Sutton wrote: ‘This is a key opportunity to show the resilience and responsiveness of the new structures to emerging public health needs and to work collaboratively with GP practices (recognising the other pressures on their time) to ensure successful delivery.’  

A statement from NHS Employers said: ‘High uptake levels are envisaged as a result of the national campaign and in response to recent outbreaks across England and Wales. It is anticipated that all qualifying children and young adults will be vaccinated by 1 September 2013.

‘NHS England will develop a standard claim form for practices to use in claiming reimbursement for work carried out.’

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman told Pulse the payment for contacting patients was fair. He said: ‘We think this pays for the cost of the labour, the envelope, the stamp and the piece of paper.

‘We’re talking about a duplicated letter and all you’ve got to do is stick the label on the envelope, fold the piece of paper and put a stamp on it. That is work - for which you’re going to get paid.’

Despite the publicity surrounding the Swansea measles outbreak, Dr Buckman was sceptical about how many patients GPs would be able to persuade to come and be vaccinated.

‘Where there’s very low uptake the chances are not many people are going to want to come and get it done. Even in this situation, I predict the number coming forward will be less than it should be.’

He continued: ‘GPs will write them a letter and see what the response is. If the response is modest then it will be easy, but if turns out very big - then clearly GPs will have to say to the local public health services, “actually we’re inundated, we can’t do it”.’



Readers' comments (13)

  • Woopydoo! £1.50 per patient. Don't spend it all at once.

    We've already spent hours of surgery time on these same patients trying to persuade them that MMR was the right thing to do. I think DOH should recognise the workload impact of refuseniks, who will often be first in the queue when genuine measles appears.

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  • Dear God that this government are treating us like something unwelcome on the bottom of one's shoe. And we are to receive such munificence to offer again free of charge something that has been previously refused not once but twice. And the GPC are colluding. We are doomed as a profession.

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  • For £1.50 I wouldn't even turn my computor on. This in no way reflects the cost of producing a letter and organising staff time to do so. Try getting a solicitors letter for this price! Don't forget this is new work not core service and should therefore be properly funded. Anyone can be a busy fool and dealing with refuseniks is not worth this incentive.

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  • Get the details of all these refuseniks and the responsible media outlets,impose a penalty tax on them all until the costs to the NHS are recouped.

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  • We have just received a letter from NHS Englnad that, certainly locally here in Teesside, catch-up immunisations for children aged 5-16yr are being done by school nurses until mid June. So, we are therefore left with the intransigent and reluctant individuals/families.
    Secondly, £1.50 per invite is no incentive to a busy practice. The DoH should save us the bother and write to the patients themselves, putting their own stamp on the letter!

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  • We'll get no sympathy from public, press or our own profession on this 'payment' as we have successfully been labelled as greedy, money orientated uncaring [insert expletive.]
    Don't moan -just don't do it., see what further press we get.
    I for one will be as the press caused this and not the patient, they had no help from the PM or government at the time and our , equally stretched professional collegues in the education world have no curriculum or time to educate kids in healthcare and the ability to evaluate a news story for the pile of rubbish that some of our current papers spout.
    Rota virus vaccination brought forward so we can squeeze in the Hepres Zoster and flu vaccines in September.
    Currently we're are bent over by the government , press, CQC, GMC, and GPC of the BMA.
    Pass me the anusol someone so I can sit in my office for 12+ hours a day and look after my community whilst I still can.

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  • We've run a search and we have >500 patients in this category. If I send invitation via 2nd class mail and get my practice nurse to vaccinate 12 patients/hr, I will be loosing money.

    Vaccinating is in the core contract as per the normal schedule but I don't believe inviting those that declined the vaccine again is part of our contract (hence they are providing funding for this part). It may be good to vaccinate for the public Heath but why should i be part subsiding it out of my own pocket?

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  • Anonymous | 01 May 2013 6:11pm What are you paying your nurses?
    There's an additional fee for vaccinating on this one. 7 quid somethinng, but it's the additional consultations about it that'll never be costed out! Same as all the extras and that we're not on piece work!

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  • Unless I read it wrong, £7.64 refers to those that are outside of immunization schedule, and payment does not include 10-16 years olds whoe are identified by the CMO as the group we need to target.

    You'll get paid £1.50 for searching and inviting 10-16 years olds who is unvaccinated. You will not get paid extra for the actual vaccinating as it is part of our contract to vaccinate this group (which I think is why DoH has specifically decided to target, not just based on clinical effectiveness)

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  • (I'm 6.45pm)I read the specification incorrectly! I'm so so stupid! No wonder I'm a GP and not a health minister.

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